Phoenix's ABC 15 did a little report last night on neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's latest racist efforts, this one a flier he and his fellow swastika-lickers in the National Socialist Movement are handing out, renaming Cinco de Mayo as "Report an Illegal Day."
Ready opposes Cinco de Mayo because, "We don't celebrate Fourth of July down in Mexico," though, actually, Americans do celebrate July 4th worldwide, particularly at American embassies, consulates, military bases and places where large numbers of Americans live or travel.
Moreover, America has numerous official and unofficial holidays celebrating immigrants from all over the world. Hell, Windy City folks dye the Chicago River green each year for St. Patty's Day. And in New York, there's an annual parade for just about every nationality and ethnicity that dwells there, from Dominicans and Cubans, to the Irish and the Italians.
So, Ready's bunk is asinine in the extreme. Of course, that's no surprise coming from the man New Times awarded the "Best Big, Fat White Supremacist" prize in its 2007 "Best of" issue.
What annoyed me about the ABC 15 piece was not so much that they did it, but that reporter Christopher Sign treated the Ernst Rohm of the East Valley and his National Socialist colleagues with such gentleness.
"The group has been labeled a neo-Nazi hate group," Sign said during the broadcast.
In his write-up on ABC 15's site, Sign states that NSM is "considered by many to be a neo-Nazi hate group."
Sign also pointed out in the broadcast that NSM's symbol includes a swastika.
It's the hint of doubt that makes me wonder if Sign even knows that a "National Socialist" is a Nazi. Did he miss that history class in high-school?
If so, all he needed to do was Google the word "Nazi" or "National Socialist" to learn they're the same thing. Nazi is a shortening of the name of Hitler's party, the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in German.
Ready called NSM "the premier white civil right [sic] organization in the world," and informed Sign that the "respectful term" for his ilk would be "National Socialist," insisting that he and his fellow SS-wannabes are "American patriots."
Riiiight. Ready just happens to be an "American patriot" who was court-martialed twice and booted from the U.S. Marines with a bad-conduct discharge.
In 2006, the East Valley Tribune noted the following:
"In 1996, Ready was charged and convicted in a military court of theft, unauthorized absence and failure to follow orders. Later that year, in a separate court proceeding, he was convicted of assault, conspiracy and wrongful solicitation and advice.
"He served three months in confinement and had to forfeit $581 each month in pay for the first court-martial. He was also demoted to private. After his second conviction, he served six months in confinement and was discharged for bad conduct."
A 2008 piece in the Arizona Republic stated that Ready also "admitted to a 1992 incident in Florida that left him with a criminal assault record."
In 2007, Ready was arrested for displaying a fictitious license plate on his black Chevy Impala. He also had an illegal pre-emption emitter in the car, allowing him to change stop lights from red to green. In his possession was a 9mm handgun and white power literature.
And then in 2006, there was a weird incident between an armed Ready and an illegal immigrant with a BB handgun. A highly-publicized "shootout" between the two occurred, though no one was injured.
This is only a partial retelling of Ready's activities. He's been a thorn in the side of the state GOP, where he formerly served as a precinct committeeman. He's also an ex-pal of state Senator Russell Pearce, and has shown up at demonstrations to support Sheriff Joe or those Joe supports.
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Ready's extremism has been well-documented over the years, so when the guy's handing out hate literature asking people to report illegal aliens on Cinco de Mayo, you'd think the TV reporter interviewing him would recount a little of this and not let Ready get away with portraying himself and his fellow NSMers as "patriots."
A separate group calling itself the Arizona Citizens Militia is calling on people to "celebrate `Cinco de Ammo'" and asking "everyone to purchase five boxes of ammunition" on May 5.
And, um, do what with it, I wonder? ACM doesn't explain itself beyond that.
Might there be political violence on May 5? Lets hope not. Because that certainly would cut into everyone's party time and celebratory imbibing. Especially mine.